Friday, February 10, 2006

Robert Louis Stevenson on Writing a Novel


Anybody can write a short story--a bad one, I mean--who has industry and paper and time enough; but not every one may hope to write even a bad novel. It is the length that kills.

Robert Louis Stevenson, “My First Book: Treasure Island” in The Art of Writing and Other Essays (1905).

3 comments:

HanktheDog said...

"but not every one may hope to write even a bad novel. It is the length that kills"

Although, there are some online novels that cast doubt on this premise.

Ella said...

I agree with Hank - length is not always an indicator of quality. RL might have changed his mind if he knew someday we'd all have access to word processing.

Kate S. said...

Yes, I have to concede that modern technology makes it easier to write a bad novel. I don't know that it makes it any easier to write a good one though!